We continue to try, together with you, to reach out to God. This is by no means an easy task because it challenges us to share something that we hold close to our hearts, something very important; and our ability to do so will determine how meaningful the conversation will be and whether we will be helped. Indeed, what kind of response can we hope to get if we cannot hear ourselves? But God knows what we are all looking for and what we all need.
We all need love. Without it, we all die - spiritually and, eventually, physically. Love is life; it is the life of our spirit. Living with love means to harbour in our hearts healthy thoughts, to feel and seek goodness and beauty all the time and to see God. But when one's soul becomes darkened by sin, one can no longer see goodness; darkness and evil are all one can notice.
It is very difficult to seek goodness in our minds and thoughts when so many things inside and outside us are not in good shape. It is very hard indeed since we are all accustomed to trusting ourselves. Yesterday, I was very upset. I visited the farmstead, and I heard some brothers there telling lies, unashamed, straight to my face. They were lying before God. I suddenly felt so sad to see people who have been living in a Christian brotherhood for many years and taking Communion but who were having no fear of lying before God. Do they realise that they will have to answer for that before God? That this is indeed something to be feared? Looking at ourselves, and around us, we may indeed be tempted to believe that all is dim - as dim as the weather these days. But do not take it for truth by any means, or at any moment in your life.
Let us remind ourselves that there is sunshine and God's love and goodness within and outside us. All of that is there for us to see, all we need to do is to make an effort. So let us work together to see goodness and beauty in our friends and family and not just the sin which we all abhor; let us work to realise God's love for all of us so we can appreciate and value what we have and learn to be thankful to God for it. We all need some help to be able to do this work. We all come to get it here, and God lets us have as much of it as we can take. You can have all the love you want, as much as you can take! Whenever we put ourselves in the centre of our thoughts and engage in self-pity and regrets, we all yield to the temptation from the evil one. Glory to God for all things, for our joys and our sorrows alike!
God help us all.
All too often, we are too afraid of silence and will rush to fill it up. But the moments of silence are truly precious.
On the 21st of July, the Orthodox Church celebrates the feast day of one of the most revered icons of the Mother of God in Russia - Our Lady of Kazan. This sermon was filmed in 2019 after the Divine Liturgy on the day of the feast.
The Rite of Orthodoxy today returns us to our roots and identity. It reaffirms our birthright, and we will not sell it, like Esau, for some lentil stew.
Are we doing God's will? This is the first thing we should ask ourselves as Christians. If the answer is yes, then we have peace, and we are in the Lord. Let us learn to love God by loving our neighbour.
There are two agendas to our lives. One comprises the things of this world, the other relates to our riches in heaven. It is a formidable challenge to pursue both at the same time.
In the years of dark and gloom, She came into the world to open a new chapter in human history. And She was asked to overstep the limits of human possibilities, the laws of nature and the flesh for the sake of humanity.
The mystery of the Holy Spirit transforms a harlot into a saint, a robber into a righteous man. But the Holy Spirit will not descend on someone who judges because, by judging, we condemn ourselves to an eternity in a place that we would all…